I’ve been a fan of Sierra graphic adventures since the 1990s, barely knew about LucasFilms games except for the Day Of The Tentacle, which I played with a friend back in the 1990s and loved it. That game took me eventually to learn about Maniac Mansion and other SCUMM games.
Still, my nostalgia was attached to the Sierra games, mostly the Leisure Suite Larry and Space Quest games, of which I own the entire series and play at least every other year.
Anyhoo… I was a backer of the Space Venture project from the guys who made the Space Quest games, and I was very excited. That project entered “development hell” and never came out. I was very disappointed and sort of crushed that the developers took so much money and squandered it so miserably.
In the midst of all that, I was recommended Thimbleweed Park by the Kickstarter page. At first I was skeptical because I didn’t know who Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick were, nor was I very familiar with their work. In fact, my favourite LucasFilm game, Day Of The Tentacle, is not even to his credit.
Nonetheless, considering that I love adventure games, I signed up and pledged. I missed the Kickstarter by a few days, so I used Humble Bundle.
After that, I started reading up on Mr. Gilbert and his work, and tried playing Maniac Mansion.
It was the development blog that sold me. That and the failure from the old Sierra guys to produce anything for years, endeared me to the Thimbleweed Park project. The more I read about Mr. Gilbert’s design philosophies and his development progress, the more I felt convinced that LucasFilms were the better games. I can respect them more and they are much more enjoyable and less frustrating that Sierra’s. I still prefer the old Sierra games, but by now it’s mostly due to nostalgia.
So, in the end, I am a convert. I’d like to think I am precisely part of the target audience for this game: someone who likes old games, enjoys adventure games, but by no means a hardcore adventurer or gamer at all. In short, a new customer not a die-hard fan.
In that sense, Thimbleweed Park delivers: It is now one of my favourite adventure games, and I can certainly see it as part of those few games I like to re-play once in a while. It is not perfect, and there are some things about it that annoy me, particularly the end-game, but the overall experience has many more positives.